From the Archives. (September 2006) Police discovered 30 new bodies with clear signs of torture in Baghdad today, including a civilian whose dismembered parts washed up on the beach, and the Times reports that the average number of weekly attacks in Iraq has risen 15 percent in the past 3 months.
The number of civilian casualties? Fifty-one percent higher.
We refer to the deceased as bodies, I guess because the essence of what makes a person a person is so obviously gone and their slab of flesh is all that remains.
Reducing real people to their form also allows us to distance ourselves from the brutal way their lives ended, enables us to—at least for the moment—mask the knowledge that these were actual people who dreamed and cried and fucked and loved and held their kids on their laps in the morning before their screams melded with the sound of their torturer’s power drill.
Is this supposed to send a message to the world that Rumsfeld et al. will never control their region ot were they brutalized because they worship differently?
And has anyone mentioned the reality that religious groups in Iraq actually got along and shared positions of power before the US invasion?
Yes, Bush&Co are certainly liberating those poor downtrodden people who greeted us with flowers.
I was already feeling pessimistic about this violent world before I read about those newest torture victims, but this line in the Times made it even worse: “The Lord’s Resistance Army [of Uganda], a messianic rebel group, was exploring a new dimension of violence by building an army of abducted children and forcing them to burn down huts, slice off lips and pound newborn babies to death in wooden mortars, as though they were grinding grain. ‘I killed and killed and killed,’ said Christopher Oyet, an 18-year-old former rebel who was kidnapped at age 9. ‘Now, I am scared of myself.’”
Turns out the leader of that brutal messianic group, an apparently paranoid schizophrenic man given to religious delusion, now has 60 kidnapped child brides with him in the jungle and chances are good that he will be given amnesty in exchange for a fragile peace.
*a Ugandan ceremony